Mandalay was the last capital of Myanmar before the British took over, so it still has great importance as a cultural center. Even though Mandalay is the second largest city, it reflects the distinguished and unique Burmese style more than other cities in Myanmar. Mandalay's Buddhist monasteries are among the most important in the country, about 60% of all the monks in Myanmar reside in the Mandalay area.
Mandalay is a city of many sites presenting the traveler with gem covered Pagodas and gilded monasteries. It's also the central of silk and cotton weaving; marble carving, bronze, and silver crafts and pottery. In addition, excursions out of Mandalay visit some monasteries and the pagoda covered hills of Sagaing, former ancient capitals of Amarapura and Ava, as well as a boat trip to Mingun, the world's largest bronze bell.
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